Tag Archives: Based On Book

Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

junglebookposter

Rating: B/ I guess I’ll start of by saying I have no particular affinity with the 1967 animated¬† version of this movie; I’m not even sure I ever saw it, though I suspect I must have at some point. Having no memory of the animated film and having never read the book by Rudyard Kipling, I had no sentimental bias holding me back from liking this CGI-filled, celebrity voice actor- starring remake. It’s sometimes hard to let go of your nostalgic feelings for an original, but I had none of those going into this film. I think that’s very important; obviously this is going to be a very different animal from the animated original, and if you go in with hard feelings towards this movie and remakes in general you’re not going to enjoy it much. Continue reading Movie Review: The Jungle Book (2016)

Movie Review: The Lady in the Van (2015)

lady_in_the_van_ver3_xlg

Rating: B/ Based on playwright/writer Alan Bennett’s memoir of the same title, The Lady in the Van is a stranger-than-fiction true story with an excellent lead performance from Dame Maggie Smith as the titular character.¬† Alex Jennings plays Bennett, a lonely middle-aged gay man who reluctantly allows a crusty homeless woman (Smith) with a haunted past to park her canary yellow van in his driveway. Continue reading Movie Review: The Lady in the Van (2015)

Movie Review: The Exorcist (1973)

Rating: B/ So, I finally watched The Exorcist; which makes me kind of late to the party, doesn’t it? My dad, who is a Catholic (or used to be at one time) assured me it was one of the scariest, if not the scariest, movies ever, and he has been talking up just how scary it is for years. Well, as usual, the experience falls short of the hype. Which is not to say The Exorcist is a bad movie; it is definitely an unnerving film with some undeniably creepy moments, and taut editing that makes your hair stand up on end. But I didn’t find myself becoming terrified by it, and there’s definitely something darkly humorous about a possessed twelve-year-old spitting up green goo on a priest’s glasses, and wildly stringing together obscenities like a pro. Continue reading Movie Review: The Exorcist (1973)

Movie Review: Brooklyn (2015)

Rating: B/¬† This is the kind of movie you sort of have to be in the mood for; a slow-paced, low-key period piece with a vivid sense of time and place. The love story at the center of the film is endearing if nothing spectacular, but the excellent acting and instantly empathizeable heroine make it an enjoyable experience. It’s like a slice of life from days long since past. Continue reading Movie Review: Brooklyn (2015)

Movie Review: Stuart- A Life Backwards (2007)

stuart--a-life-backwards-poster

Rating: B+/ Based on homeless advocate Alexander Masters’ biography of his late friend, Stuart Shorter, this movie is an emotional roller coaster. Stuart (Tom Hardy) is the kind of guy people cross to the other side of the street to avoid. Drunk, drug-addicted, physically handicapped and mentally unsound, sporadically homeless junkie and Muscular Dystrophy patient Stuart is a man many would pity, but few would have the inclination to call ‘friend.’ Yet Alexander (Benedict Cumberbatch) reluctantly befriends him, after much initiating on Stuart’s part. The two men campaign together to release two homeless shelter aides wrongfully imprisoned by the courts, and along the way Alexander begins writing a book about Stuart’s troubled life story, which includes physical and sexual abuse, bullying, and early brushes with violent crime. Continue reading Movie Review: Stuart- A Life Backwards (2007)

Movie Review: Reservation Road (2007)

reservationroad

Rating: B-/ I’ll begin my review by saying this; people who rent this movie probably know what they’re getting. The acting is terrific all around, but the movie itself is overwrought, filled with shrieking and heated accusations. It gained my sympathies and tugged on my heartstrings, but I feel like it did it kind of dishonestly, if that makes sense; instead of being extraordinarily well-written or featuring interesting characters it jack-hammered it’s way into my heart by presenting me with lots and lots of showy displays of grief. The excellent actors are compensating for the fact that there isn’t much below the surface here. Continue reading Movie Review: Reservation Road (2007)

Movie Review: 12 Years a Slave (2013)

12yearsaslvae

Rating: A-/ Imagine living a regular, relatively charmed life and being taken from your home, your family, everything you know. Imagine being shipped overnight to a place where you could be both bought and sold as property. It seems so unreal, doesn’t it? But in 1841, it actually happened to Solomon Northup (played here by Chiwetel Ejiofor,) a free black man who was drugged and kidnapped by two con men and sent to the Antebellum South as a slave. Solomon was educated, savvy, everything that was forbidden of blacks during this time, and he soon learned to hide the fact that he could read and write and tried to go unnoticed among the hoards of black faces that passed through insane slave owner Edwin Epps’ (Michael Fassbender)’s cotton fields every day. Continue reading Movie Review: 12 Years a Slave (2013)